Organic vs. synthetic lawn fertilizers

Today’s guest post comes from Philip Brown who considers himself a lawn care enthusiast. A former employee of Trugreen, Philip now spends his time sharing what he knows with others. When he’s not blogging about lawn management and lawn care, you can find him tending to his own front yard down in Loganville, Georgia.  
As some of you may or may not know, fertilizer is the food that provides the plants in our gardens their nutrients, composed of macro and micronutrients. A garden cannot be successful without the proper fertilizer, and the tough decision we as lawn care lovers face is which fertilizer to choose. With hundreds of them on the market, how do we narrow our options down? As an all-green lawn care enthusiast, I only use organic fertilizers, and encourage others to do so as well.

The true difference between organic and synthetic fertilizers is how they are made. Organic is made from materials from plants and animals, while synthetic fertilizers are produced by chemical reactions that produce ammonia, or sometimes by rocks and minerals. When deciding whether to go the organic route or not, consider the benefits your lawn and garden reaps from organic fertilizers. There is a common misconception, as there is with many organic products, that more time and effort will be required if you choose the organic route. This is not necessarily true, as organic fertilizers create storage pockets in the soil that feed your plants, allowing you to fertilize less often. In addition to storing nutrients, the soil absorbs more water when fertilized organically, meaning you water your plants less often as well.
Nitrogen is one of the main components of the macronutrients that fertilizers are made of, and must have a controlled release or else your plants will suffer. Organic fertilizers release nitrogen more slowly than synthetic, allowing a proper growth rate for your plants. If too much nitrogen is released, your plants could have leaf damage, or have too much leaf growth as opposed to flowering. The nitrogen, if too prevalent, can also run into your water, which then produces the pollutant nitrate, which is unsafe to drink and creates a poor environment for your plants.
You have two options when using organic fertilizers: buy pre-made, or DIY. Not only do I prefer the DIY home production, but you can tailor the fertilizer to your lawn’s specific needs. The best way to see what your lawn is lacking, or has too much of, is to take a soil sample and send it to a lab to be analysed, or do a simple at-home test that can be purchased at lawn care stores.
From one lawn enthusiast to another: treat your lawn kindly and it will surely present you with results to be proud of!

Thank you so much Phillip for your insight. As far as I’m concerned whenever it comes to my garden the organic route rather than the synthetic or chemical route is the road I always take. 

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7 thoughts on “Organic vs. synthetic lawn fertilizers

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  2. July 14, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information. It is very important that we know the ingredients of the fertilizers that we use with our plants. I love organic and I really want to know how to make one of those. I really enjoyed reading this article. Nice insights! Thanks for posting again. –http://www.chemwisenutrients.com

    1. July 14, 2013 at 3:41 am

      Thank you for your input. I found it an informative piece as well. Thanks for dropping by. Mx

  3. December 3, 2013 at 10:38 am

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  4. April 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm

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  6. September 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm

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